Almond Biscotti

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Title: Almond Biscotti
Yield: 30 Cookies
Categories: Desserts, Cookies


1 c Sugar
1/2 c Butter, sweet; melted
3 tb Brandy
1 ts Vanilla
1 ts Almond extract
1 c Almonds, unsalted; chopped
3 Eggs
2 1/2 c Flour
1/2 tb Baking powder
1/4 ts Salt

Preheat oven to 350~. Mix sugar with butter, brandy, vanilla, almond
extract, nuts and eggs. Mix well. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
Form into a long loaf (or loaves), place on a cookie sheet and bake for
20-30 minutes or until firm and softly cakelike. Remove from oven and let
cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2 inch diagonal
slices and return to cookie sheet. Bake for 15-25 miutes, turning once,
until both sides are brown-flecked and toasted. Cool thoroughly and store
in an airtight jar. Makes 2-3 dozen. Variation 1 (Mandlebrot): increase
sugar to 1-1/4 cups. Diced dried apricots may by added. Variation 2: for a
clasic anise-flavored biscotto, substitute Pernod, Ouzo or Anisette for the
brandy and omit the almond extract. Several tablespoons of anise seeds may
be added for additional oomph. Variation 3 (Hazelnut biscotti): use
hazelnuts in place of almonds. A hazelnut liqueur may be used instead of
brandy. Omit the almond extract. Variation 4 (Mediterranean biscotti): use
rosewater instead of brandy. Substitute unsalted pistachio nuts for the
almonds, and add 1/4 - 1/2 cup diced figs to the dough. Variation 5
(Ginger-flavored biscotti): to the basic dough, add 1 Tbsp powdered ginger,
a generous dash of cloves and cinnamon, 1 or 2 Tbsp of candied ginger and
1/4 cup raisins, if desired. Omit the almond extract. Variation 6
(Paximatha): this Greek rusk dates back to the 5th century, virtually
unchanged. Substiture 1/2 to 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds for the almonds.
Omit the almond extact and flavor the dough with 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp
cloves. Variation 7 (Fekkas): a Moroccon twice-baked cookie. Substitute
orange flower water for the brandy. Variation 8; Pine nuts may be used
instead of almonds, though the richness may be less desirable than the
crunch of the toasted almonds. Candied fruits, too, may be added, 1/4 to
1/2 cup assorted fruits blended into the dough before baking. Variation 9
(Chocolate Dipped): melt 1/2 pound semi-sweet chocolate in the top of a
double boiler over just simmering water. If it "seizes" or "tightens", add
2 Tbsp of unsalted buter and it should smooth out again. Dip only one side
of each cookie (the chocolate won't seal in the moisture that way).